One of the largest newspapers in Chile published a tribute feature to Nazi Hermann Göring on Sunday, sparking an outcry from politicians and the Chilean Jewish community.
The article, which was timed to the 75th anniversary of Göring’s death and resembled a eulogy, included details about the Nazi leader’s youth, military career and close relationship to Adolf Hitler, accompanied by various photos.
In a statement posted to Twitter, the Jewish Community of Chile organisation called the article “an apology for Nazism.”
“In Europe, this publication would be considered a crime,” the organisation said, referring to countries that outlaw Nazi sympathising.
Germany’s embassy in Santiago said “It is not customary for the Embassy to comment” on newspaper articles, but added “We just want to make it very clear: This character, H. Goering, committed crimes against humanity and was one of the pillars of the Nazi regime.”
Göring was one of Hitler’s highest-ranking officers, and helped create the Gestapo secret police force. During Hitler’s Four-Year Plan in 1936, he was given broad economic powers, including the authority to confiscate Jewish property. He benefited personally from looted art, and during the Holocaust had possession of Matisse’s “Girl in Yellow and Blue with Guitar.”
At the Nuremberg trials in 1946, Göring was found guilty of conspiracy, crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. He was sentenced to death by hanging but committed suicide hours before it was carried out by ingesting cyanide.
El Mercurio, which has a conservative political slant, is known as Chile’s newspaper of record.
Multiple politicians running in Chile’s presidential elections also criticised the article.
“There isn’t even a speck of room for criminals against humanity,” wrote Sebastián Sichel, an independent running as part of the conservative Chile Podemos coalition. “My solidarity with the Jewish community and to anyone else who may have felt offended by the publication.”
Yasna Provoste, head of the centrist Christian Democratic Party, expressed “deep solidarity with the Jewish Community of Chile.”
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.